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Windows 7 coming in two weeks

Microsoft says its new operating system is ready and will be available for certain customers on Aug. 6.

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By David Goldman, CNNMoney.com staff writer

microsoft_windows7_screenshot.03.jpg
Select users will be able to download the final version of Windows 7 on Aug. 6.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Microsoft says Windows 7 is ready to go, and the first users will be able to download it on Aug. 6.

The much-anticipated operating system was completed Wednesday, and it is on track to appear on store shelves for the general public on Oct. 22, Microsoft said in a press release. Customers will also be able to download the operating system from Microsoft's Web site.

Third-party hardware and software vendors will get their hands on the new operating system Aug. 6, and businesses that entered agreements with Microsoft to buy software in large quantities will be able to download Windows 7 on Aug. 16.

A preliminary version of Windows 7 has been available to tech developers for many months, and reviews have been mostly positive. That's a dramatic shift from the largely negative reviews -- and disappointing sales -- of its current Windows version, Vista.

But Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) says Windows 7 is scaled back and faster than Vista, addressing users' complaints about sluggish speeds and unnecessary functions.

Microsoft will be announcing their quarterly financial results after the markets close Thursday afternoon. To top of page

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